FAIRBANKS - After all the flooded basements, waterlogged gardens and ruined weekends, Fairbanksans have this: They made it through the wettest summer in recorded history.
A brief noon shower on Friday pushed the area into new territory, putting the overall precipitation total at 11.62 inches. That surpasses a record set in 1930, when Fairbanks was doused with 11.59 inches of rain.
The summer record tallies the total precipitation received in June, July and August. Local rain records date back to 1906.
This year's total was spurred by unprecedented rainfall in June and near-record precipitation in July. In June, a 3.56-inch total bested a record set in 1949. In July, the 5.78 inches of rain made it the second-wettest July ever.
August has been relatively parched in comparison, with 2.28 inches of rain falling by Friday afternoon.
The official rain total is taken at Fairbanks International Airport, which is one of the driest locations in the area. Locations like Chatanika and Eielson can get considerably wetter.
"Since (the airport) got a lot, the other places probably got a whole lot," said Scott Berg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The soggy summer came with a variety of complications. Septic tanks and foundations around Fairbanks were flooded by the saturated soil, and rising river levels spurred the Army Corps of Engineers to activate the Moose Creek Dam for the first time in six years.
The dam redirects part of the Chena River into the Chena Flood Control Project, sparing Fairbanks a repeat of the flood that covered the city in 1967. Parts of the Salcha, Chatanika, and upper Chena rivers still overflowed their banks in June and July, covering local roads and riverside properties.
But the record moisture did come with some benefits. The Interior had its quietest wildfire season in more than a decade, thanks largely to consistently damp weather north of the Alaska Range.
Local meteorologists say it isn't clear why 2014 was such a wet summer. Much has been made of this year's El Nino, a cycle of warm ocean currents in the South Pacific, but it doesn't appear to be the culprit, said Alaska Fire Service meteorologist Sharon Alden.
"The effects that it has on Alaska are relatively small, and the effects it has is even less in the summer," she said.
Fairbanks should get a respite during the final weekend of the summer months. Berg said no rain is projected in the area during the last two days of August, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-50s.
Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMbusiness.